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Group urges improved land policies

THE Sustainable Urban Land Coalition, made up of more than 20 key leaders from government, business, international development and civil groups, called on the government to improve and streamline an accessible land programs and services to fast-track development.

The group announced their call to action during the last day of the Conference on Sustainable Land Governance held in Manila on Feb. 9.

The 10-point call to action emphasized to rationalize the mandates of land related agencies, prioritize the implementation of a massive national titling program, expedite resolution of land-related cases, and strictly enforce compliance of local government units on property valuation regulations, among others.

All for land reform. Private and public officials join hands in urging the government to hasten land policy reform at the closing of the two-day Sustainable Land Governance Conference organized by the US Agency for International Development’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity program at the Diamond Hotel in Manila last Feb. 9.
Office of the Cabinet Secretary Deputy Executive Director Jonas George Soriano said the call to action is timely because the new government is moving towards the adoption of a sustainable land governance program to address the country’s land concerns.

Soriano said President Rodrigo Duterte will soon sign into law the Philippine Development Plan and the National Security Policy which will be the basis of all plans and reforms in the government.

He challenged the local government units to consider the impact of every government project in their locality after Duterte directed that government resources be spent wisely on outcomes are felt on the ground.

“We are appealing to our friends from the local government units to push for changes in the government. If you want change, the President is asking the mayors and the governors to lead the way,” he said.

National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro explained that the PDP contains development goals and objectives, the strategic framework and the executive order that will give the directive to all the branches of government in implementing their programs and projects.

“The PDP also lays down the foundation for the new administration’s ambition for 2040, which is more inclusive growth and a globally competitive knowledge economy,” she said.

Navarro stressed that there is a need to strictly implement existing rules for effective land administration such as timely titling of lands and taxing idle lands sufficiently so that owners will put these lands to appropriate uses, which until now remains a big challenge.

“Institutional challenges, on the other hand, also remains a challenge, such as multiple administration agencies, multiple laws, multiple land processes and multiple standards in land valuation,” she added.

The conference was organized by USAID through its Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (Surge) Project, in partnership with UN-Habitat and the World Bank, which gathered more than 300 experts and delegates.

Topics: land policies , Sustainable Urban Land Coalition
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